Somebody brought up the point last week that Jaromir Jagr may have been the most skilled or most talented player, still in his prime, to ever play for the Rangers.
Interesting thought. Not sure if I completely agree or not, but here’s another set of arguments along the same lines. I received a review copy of the new book “100 Ranger Greats” and it ranks the top 100. Some things were taken into serious consideration, such as playing all or most of one’s career with the Rangers, as the top three all did (can you guess which three they were?).
It’s tricky trying to rank them, because No. 4 (Mark Messier) may have been the greatest Ranger ever, and Nos. 1, 2 and 3 will probably tell you he was (No. 2 actually once did tell me Messier was the greatest). And Messier was still in his prime when he won a Hart Trophy, when he scored 100 points, when he nearly scored 50 goals, and of course when he won the franchise’s only Cup in the last 69 years.
But how, then, do you rank Jagr? Or how about Wayne Gretzky? The greatest player who ever lived played three seasons for the Rangers, but surely wasn’t the greatest Ranger ever. The book ranks him No. 68. Jagr, who holds the franchise record for goals in a season, ranks No. 84. There are some other interesting rankings, such as Jeff Beukeboom ahead of Barry Beck. Way ahead.
And I don’t think any of you, without benefit of the list, could guess who’s No. 5. Go ahead. Give it a shot.
I’ll print the whole list at a later date. For now, I thought we could have some good discussion on the topic. Maybe some of you want to give me your top 10?
The book, written by my friend John Halligan, and Russ Cohen and Adam Raider (foreword by Sam Rosen), will go on sale Monday, Oct. 5.
Afternoon update: Hey, Laurel here. While I’m still struggling to figure out #5, thought you locals might be interested in this:
Rangers alumni Dave Maloney and Pete Stemkowski will join 100 RANGER GREATS co-authors Russ Cohen, John Halligan and Adam Raider for a book signing at American Legends in Scarsdale, NY on October 15, 2009 at 6:00 PM. For more information, please call 914-725-2225.